This is a question we are asked frequently. Generally, in a Will, you name who you want to be in charge of paying your bills and distributing your property the way you have instructed in your Will after you pass away. This person is called your Executor. It is normally necessary to probate the estate of a person who only has a Will.
A Trust is a document that also names who you want to be in charge of paying your bills and distributing your property the way you have instructed in your Trust after you pass away. This person is called your Trustee. There are several benefits to having a Trust, one of which is that if all your property is titled in the name of your Trust or transferred automatically to your Trust at the time of your death, then your estate should not need to be probated.
Other estate planning tools available in Oklahoma that can help your loved ones avoid having to probate your estate after you pass away are Transfer on Death Deeds for real estate, Transfer on Death forms for vehicles (published by the Oklahoma Tax Commission and available for free here), and designating payable on death beneficiaries on all your bank(s), safety deposit box(es), investment(s), retirement account(s), and insurance policies.
Our firm offers a free estate planning consultation to discuss these estate planning options and answer any questions you have. Please feel free to contact us by phone at 918-782-0000 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cassandra L. Coats is a partner at Lee & Coats law firm in Vinita, Oklahoma. While Lee|Coats Law is a full-service law firm, Cassandra focuses her practice on estate planning, as well as adoption, guardianship, probate, real estate, contract, and personal injury law. If you have any questions about wills or trusts in Oklahoma then give us a call today.